Flowers

Flowers

Freeway victim was a patient

Police say their investigation of 23-year-old's death on freeway in South Surrey is not a criminal one

A pedestrian who died on Highway 99 last week had been released from Peace Arch Hospital within hours of the tragic incident.

The 23-year-old woman died around 4 p.m. Aug. 23, when she was struck by a northbound tractor-trailer just north of the 16 Avenue overpass.

A tribute to her life has been placed near the site, where young adults reportedly held a vigil the next evening. On Friday, flowers, a pair of peach-coloured Adidas runners, articles of clothing and a framed photograph remained.

Ken Jones, a former MLA and White Rock resident, said he learned about the hospital aspect from a woman who described herself as the victim’s mother. He had pulled over near the 16 Avenue overpass last Wednesday evening after noticing a woman who appeared despondent.

Jones said the woman was “very, very distraught” that her daughter had been released from hospital.

“She said her daughter earlier in the day was up at Peace Arch Hospital,” he said.

“She had asked them to keep her in the hospital.

“She was very, very disturbed that the hospital had let her out.”

Officials with Fraser Health Authority Monday would not comment, citing patient confidentiality.

The victim’s Facebook page has the word ‘Remembering’ in front of her name. Her cover photo, last updated on March 30, is a Socrates quote: ‘Those who are the hardest to love need it the most.’

Police looking into the tragedy said background details including a victim’s state of mind are typically part of the coroner’s investigation.

Deas Island RCMP Sgt. Lorne Lecker said an appeal last week for witnesses to the actual collision resulted in “a little bit more information” about what happened, however, they are still looking for “that one driver” with the missing piece of the puzzle.

The tractor-trailer driver, he said, has been fully co-operative, and drugs, alcohol and speed, as well as mechanical issues, have been ruled out as contributing factors.

“This is not being looked at as a criminal investigation.”

Witnesses are asked to callConst. Mark Wiebe at 778-290-2400.